I have OCD. And you?

OCD-mental-health-petite-wordsWhen you think of OCD you probably think of the continuous washing of hands or of someone turning the light switch on and off 100 times. But is that it? Is that really OCD? Nope. It’s part of it, for some people, but like all mental problems,  OCD comes in many shapes and sizes.

I have OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. I was born with it. And I will always have it, because OCD never leaves you. And if you let it, it will eat you up. It will make you feel isolated, hopeless and like the most dreadful person in the world, which of course you are not.

OCD is a clamp on your mind, it twists your thoughts and memories and can play them on repeat until you’re literally about to explode, anxious, torturous, THAT is OCD.

It started when I was a child, I remember having to tell my mum EVERYTHING, that was the first compulsion, THE TRUTH. I’m a compulsive truth teller, which most people actually admire, until I tell them something a bit too honest and  then suddenly friends vanish in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. Why am I telling you all this?

Well, I think you need to know, because it’s my belief that there’s a of lot of us out there and a lot of people too scared to admit it.

But WHY?

Even today, where the gates of mental health are pretty open, there’s still such a cloud of uncertainly, too many questions unanswered. So as soon as you mention ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ you get thrown into a box marked ‘risky’ because  the brain is a funny old thing, it’s unpredictable and most people don’t like unpredictable. And here lies the big problem….. Of course we don’t want to admit we function differently from other person,  because god forbid we are actually different.

But I wonder… if we really got down to it, how many of us would have a mental health problem, at least at some point in our lives. I can’t talk for all mental health issues but I can give a little voice to OCD.

So here’s what you should know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

You should know your child could have (it often starts at birth)

You should know it will never completely go away but it can be tamed

You should know that drugs (antidepressants etc) are not the answer

You should know it’s not just about ritualistic actions but also repetitive thoughts

You should know it’s really hard for people to admit they have OCD because explaining how they feel seems like the hardest thing in the world

You should know  going to therapy doesn’t help most people

You should know OCD is irrational, you cannot rationalise it

You should know about CBT, a great technique to deal with OCD

You should know Mindfulness and learning to live in more spiritual way is really helpful for calming OCD

You should know OCD has a good side, people with OCD are often more dedicated, motivated and push themselves until he job is done

I believe I was given OCD for a reason. I believe I can control it and I believe I can harness it for the better. If I wasn’t OCD I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be so ambitious, so pushy, so driven and I’m certain I wouldn’t see the world as I do.

I now understand that OCD is a part of me and by rejecting it I just made things worst. The hardest lesson in life is learning not to hide from ourselves, we have to embrace our demons and we have to remember there is no light without dark.

P.S  A  person who just washes there hands lots probably doesn’t have OCD. We call these people ‘hygienic’. This is something we need to think about because throwing labels around like they’re the cool new adjective can be really damaging. Ditto with ‘depressed’ you bf didn’t text back and you’ve finished the Ben and Jerry’s boo hoo, that’s not depression.

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19 thoughts on “I have OCD. And you?

  1. I liked this post! I have never really learnt much about OCD (bad on my behalf) and I feel like you have gave me something I didn’t have before :) Thanks!

  2. I have a friend with OCD who, among a lot of other routines, has to walk back to their gar at least 50 times and try the door handle. She is always late everywhere because of this but as her friends we just try to understand and be patient. I wrote a little about my Postnatal OCD I developed so I can sympathise. Hope it eases for you over time.x #GlobalBlogging

  3. Thank you, brave soul, for putting yourself, and this post out there for all to absorb. People don’t really understand OCD at all. My mom has it, as did her dad. It’s a tough cross to bear and I love that you are embracing who you are. My mom and grandfather were/are complete deniers. It was a tough gig growing up in that house. My wish for you is happiness, and know that I completely empathize. xoxo #bigpinklink

  4. This is really interesting. I like that you highlight that it isn’t just repetitive actions or hand washing!! I do agree we need to be careful about labelling everything but to be more ready to label when it really is required and appropriate and perhaps helpful. A really great read!
    Thank you for joining the #BigPinkLink

  5. I am literally applauding you. WELL DONE for writing this. You’re so right about the misconceptions of OCD. I’ve had it since I was a child, it manifested itself in a terrifying way when I became a Mum and I ended up having a breakdown a year later.
    Thank you SO much for writing and sharing this. The more people that write about OCD the more chance we have of it getting a better understanding and smashing down that stigma that is still so commonplace. #globalblogging

  6. I believe I have it too, not the hand washing type but the repetitive and unreal thoughts kind, and it has been crushing me lately. This is really helpful to read, particularly the bit about therapy not helping but CBT doing so. Thank you for writing this… xx #blogcrush

  7. I’ve never known much about OCD, but have experience (myself and close friends) of many other Mental Health issues. It really frustrates me when people use the word “depressed” when they just mean mildly upset, or they laughingly comment that the person with a tidy house “has OCD”. This totally diminishes the daily battles that people who genuinely have depression or OCD have to fight relentlessly.

    I love that you can see your OCD in a positive way and see how it has helped you and shaped you as a person. I think that’s a fab way to look at it, and I’m sure that helps you to harness it’s power rather than becoming overwhelmed by it. Thank you for sharing such a helpful, insightful post. #blogcrush

    1. Thanks Lucy! All of your comments have been wonderful, it’s such a great feeling talking openly about this kind of thing. I held it in for so long, wonderful to feel free (:

  8. This was a really informative post; thank you for being brave enough to write about it. I did a little bit of research into this when a multitude of professionals suggested this could explain many of my anxiety problems (I’ve since been diagnosed with autism so many of those ritualistic/repetitive thoughts can be explained that way), but you’ve still managed to debunk some of the misconceptions websites are constantly sharing about this. It’s great to know the truth behind OCD, and I’m glad you’re able to view it in a positive light now.

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